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Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Review: Half-Blood: A Covenant Novel by Jennifer L. Armentrout

So, yeah. The Kindle. Dead again, number 3 that is. So upsetting because it died just when the Apollyon showed up. I had to wait about a week and a half. My fault because I didn't have time to call before Christmas. I called Wednesday (Boxing Day), though and had it by Friday. By Sunday I had it all sorted out again, mostly. I was so happy about it, too, because I was able to start reading Half-Blood again which I finished this weekend.

I really wasn't sure how I felt about it at first. When I looked at JLA's books, the Lux series peaked my interest more than the Covenant series, but I needed to read something while waiting for Opal to come out and am I glad I did. After I started reading it, I could tell I was going to love the series, so I downloaded everything.

This one is a story about scions of the Greek gods. I've read a few of those before, but this one definitely had an edge none of the others I've read had. So let's get into it, shall we?

Book Description (From Amazon):
Publication Date: October 18, 2011 | Series: Covenant
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

My Review:
In Daimon, the prequel, we meet Alex. She is a half-blood. Her mother is a pure descendant of the gods and her father was mortal. Half-bloods are treated like second class citizens. They are looked down upon by the pures and there are all sorts of rules in place regarding them. They can go to The Covenant to learn and train to either become a guard or a sentinel. The sentinels are the hunters. If they are not able to become one or the other, they are given an elixir that basically turns them into a walking zombie. They become servants, but like with a lobotomy. Alex had been training at the Covenant, but one night her mother takes her away and they've been on the run for three years.

Pures and half-bloods have within their blood aether which turns out to be sort of like crack for Pures, but it also turns them into the monsters the Covenant is training pures and half-bloods to fight. Once they turn, they become daimons, which I liken to vampires sucking up life force which is contained within the blood.

Alex has no idea why her mother took her away, but they have been on the run ever since. On the run from the Covenant, but also on the run from the daimons since they're not well protected. One morning, Alex wakes up to find that daimons had broken into their home and one had drained her mother dry. Alex knew there was nothing she could do for her mother and there were more than one daimon, so she did the only thing she could. She fled. She decided to run to the closest Covenant base, but her flight was cut off when daimons found her.

And that's where Half-Blood picks up. She is cornered in an abandoned building in the middle of nowhere. She fights them off as best she can, but is overpowered. The cavalry come, but not before she gets bit by a daimon, which is referred to as getting tagged. Now just getting bit once won't turn a pure and half-bloods can't be turned at all. The aether in their blood is like a snack whereas the aether in a pure's blood is more a feast.

She gets rescued and taken back to the Covenant where she finds her uncle is now the dean of the school. She wants to start up training again, but her step-father, Lucian, might have something to say about that since he is her legal guardian. He could order her back home and force her to take the elixir, which for her would be a fate worse than death. She begs to train again at the Covenant and her uncle agrees only if she can catch up over the summer and graduate with the class. Such a fete would seem impossible, but Aiden steps in to offer assistance.

Aiden is a pure and he is one of the sentinels who rescued her. He is also the pure that Alex has had a crush on forever. The only obstacle to her happiness is the breeding laws stating that pures cannot mix with half-bloods. The pures barely acknowledge the half-bloods as they are inferior. And if it does happen that a relationship starts up between a pure and a half-blood, the pure will have no consequences, but the half-blood will suffer all the consequences. Talk about someone being out of your league?

Alex is a strong-willed individual. She never gives up, she never admits to weakness, but she also never listens and basically does what she wants anyway. For instance, the terms of her training was that she would stay out of trouble and stay on the island the school was on unless Aiden was with her. So, of course in the first week she is back, she sneaks out of her dorm and goes to a party on the other island. Aiden does find out about it and trains her hard the next day. Boys are also not allowed in the girls dorm, but she lets her friend Caleb in anyway. She gets cocky a lot, has a bad attitude, has anger issues, she doesn't listen to anything anyone tells her and decides to do things her own way. All this gets her in trouble. Like her uncle, Marcus, coming to check on her. She decides to challenge him to sparring thinking he is soft and she can take him. She basically gets her butt handed to her. So while I really like her character, I found her to be so frustrating at times. It's simple. There are rules. Follow them. Listen to your seniors, pay attention, do what your told, but she's a rebel. And believe me, she gets into some serious trouble, a lot more than she ever would have bargained for and her stupidity can have dire consequences.

Aiden is so opposite Alex. Although they are similarly motivated, Aiden keeps a cool head. He is patient with Alex, but is also strict with her training. He wants her to succeed and works selflessly to get her up to speed so she can stay at the Covenant in the fall. He's mister straight lace, but so incredibly competent. He is the knight riding in to save the day and I find him to be a very likable character. I am just not sure how he doesn't lose patience with Alex, but he really seems to care.

Enter the Apollyon, Seth. The Apollyon is like the ultimate fighter for the Covenant.  He can control all five elements and has powers others can only dream of.  So why is he guarding Alex's step-father, Lucian.  He wants to know why, so he starts ollowing Alex around trying to figure it out as he is sure it has something to do with her. And why can Alex see the tattoo like markings on his exposed skin?

There are a lot of questions raised, some of which are answered. There are twists to the plot that I really didn't see coming which kept me on the edge of my seat. There are more questions raised that are left unanswered. Not to mention that there is a swoon or two that keeps the heat up.

The flow is different with this series than with the Lux series, but if you are a fan of JLA's work and have not read any of the Covenant series yet, I suggest you pick up Daimon, the prequel, and Half-Blood and get started.  Me?  I'm going to get started on Pure.



  1. Sounds like my kind of read, thanks for recommending it. Here's hoping you have better luck with Kindle no. 4.

  2. Thanks for the Kindle well wishes! Perhaps if I'm very, very good this year and very, very lucky, I might be able to have this one last more than 12 months or even at least 12 months. That would be a record for me!
    My history with devices doesn't bode well for the iPad I want to get. Still, I will battle on and hope for the best.
    Thanks for dropping in! It's always a pleasure to hear from you!

  3. Great review! I love anything to do with the Greek gods and their offspring, but I think I might get impatient with Alex for doing stupid things. You're right, if you are on probation, don't break the rules!

    1. You might get annoyed with Alex as I did, but I think you'd put up with her to spend time with Aiden.. Plus there is danger, mystery, a little romance (swoon), not to mention some murder, some torture, some blood sucking going on and a possible plague to this world.
      What is doesn't have, though, is Jammie Dodgers.

  4. I've only read the novella that was set before the start of the series. Sad to say (though I think I am in the minority), it wasn't enough to pique my interest. Glad you liked it though!

    Also, I nominated you for a Liebster Award! Details can be found here.

    1. You need to read beyond the prequel. To be honest, I didn't think much of the prequel either. I really almost thought to give up on the series, but I had already purchased Half-Blood, so I figured I'd at least give the first book a try. I'm glad I didn't give up. If you have an ereader, download a sample and give it a try.
      Thanks for visiting again!